The main plot of the book focuses on Jonathan, a young American visiting Ukraine to find the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis during WWII. He is guided by Alex, an eccentric Ukrainian youngster who lives deep into his own imagination and secretly plans to escape his crazy family and move to the US with his brother. This part of the book is actually pretty good. But unfortunately, it's not where the story ends. For some unfathomable reason, the author decided to sprinkle the story with crazy half-magical flashbacks into the past, to the life of Jonathan's ancestors in a Jewish village (shtetl) in Ukraine, from the late 18th century and until WWII. This part of the book is quite bad, ranging from barely tolerable gibberish to utter nonsense, the climax of which is the weird stories of Jonathan grandfather's sexual conquest that began at the age of 10 because lots of women got excited by his under-developed left (or was it right ?) hand. I would gladly hear from anyone willing to tell what the hell this has got to do with anything. Anyway, I wouldn't recommend the book. It's not worth it to read 200 pages of trash just to savor some 70 pages of a good story. Curiously, on Amazon the book got much worse reviews than the movie made from it. I'm not surprised. I suppose the movie director managed to cut all the garbage away and just stay with the main plot, which can be both funny and historically interesting, if presented appropriately.

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